It was never meant to be a goodbye

The hardest thing for me was not leaving. That was the easy part. Goodbyes aren’t easy, but packing the bags, walking through the gate towards a new adventure, now that’s exciting. I didn’t dwell on the goodbyes. But I have realised 9.5 months down the line that the hardest part was deciding to stay. For those who need some context, I live in Japan and have been here since August, last year. It didn’t faze me quitting my well paid job for one with a much lower salary and more of a ‘risk’ some would say. But this was my dream which had come true. This is no longer my dream now that I have achieved my goal to come and live here. It is a beautiful country with kind people, but now the dream has been realised.

Five¬†months down the line, we had to make the difficult decision to re-contract for another year. At this point it would mean 1.5 years left in this country. I wasn’t sure I had achieved all that I wanted so I decided to stay because I felt there was more to discover and a year was too short. But reflecting over my life since being here, I have experienced some wonderful things, but also my fair share of crap. I have been at my lowest and it has been a very painful journey, yet it’s not the end. I wonder when the pain will subside. I feel like I live in a bubble. I feel like I’ve lost my way. I feel like this isn’t reality. Since coming to Japan, I’ve lost sight of my dreams and goals because the cold, hard truth is that I don’t have any. I don’t know where I am going in my life and I don’t know what I’ll do, but that’s okay for now. It’s okay to be lost, I just hope I won’t stay in Purgatory forever.

I don’t regret my decision, but I do wonder what if. Being so far away from home has made me realise and appreciate what I have at home; my family, my friends and an exciting life in London. I miss them all – I’ve never felt so alone as I have here, or maybe I have and I’ve forgotten. It’s in the daily routines and simple things that I remember the beautiful and the memories come swarming back. I miss my family very much. I miss hugs. I miss the smiles. I miss the internet sometimes when I don’t have it. I miss water when I don’t have that. In times like this I think about the people I love and how I left them behind without so much a second thought, but now I am constantly thinking of them; constantly reminded.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I made the difficult decision to continue to stay here even though I am deeply unhappy. I’ve made my bed and now it’s time to lie in it. But I’m not scared. I love my children at school and I am hoping I will be able to heal and rebuild myself. “Always stay calm in any situation” – that is the lesson I am fast learning.

I hope this isn’t where we say goodbye, because to me it was never a goodbye. It was a see you soon. I just didn’t realise a see you soon wouldn’t actually be soon, but what feels like a lifetime. I’ll be home for a holiday soon; it’ll be short-lived but refreshing. I think I’ve lost those rose-tinted glasses now. I think it’ll be time to go back soon and find a new dream. Soon I’ll be saying goodbye to myself – goodbye to the past and the present. Goodbye for now.

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New adventures await

I have discovered some amazing news. I applied to become a Teaching Assistant abroad in Japan and I found out recently that I have been accepted and I am due to leave in August. To be honest I couldn’t believe it, such incredible news, I couldn’t believe I was actually going, that it had happened. It slowly sank in and when I started to break the news to friends, I was dismayed to learn that not all was as it seemed. My best friend was extremely happy, proud and supportive. But my other friends were shocked, sad and not as happy. This is my dream, to travel the world, to learn a new language and to live in Japan. All I am doing is leaving for a year.

“You are coming back right?” Will I be back? That is the most famous question I receive and honestly I don’t know. I might enjoy it so much I decided I want to stay. I might want to try South Korea. I might decide that there is no longer a place for me here anymore, that I might be best in another country. I get so bored easily I wonder if it would be easy to come back. I can already feel my grip of life and reality slipping as I watch my friends progress up the career ladder, as they turn corners in their life, I realise I’m not quite going down those paths. Instead I am wandering in a completely different direction and I am becoming a traveller who might just get lost. It only hit me that I am sacrificing my career for an uncertain reality, but isn’t life all about taking risks?

Through my excitement to leave, I never imagined it would happen and now it is, I am preparing. I will be okay. It will change me. I will miss my dear friends for sure, I will miss my beautiful family, but I am young and I need to take this chance. If I don’t I will regret it. Some people think I’m crazy for giving up a secure, comfortable and well paid job. Others think I am brave for doing this alone. But all I want to do is discover the world and meet different people. I want to explore and perhaps I am crazy, but who gets to be 23 again? I haven’t a boyfriend, husband, lover or long standing commitment. I only have chance and if I let fear and the comfortable get in my way, I’ll never be happy.

Everything involves a little fear, but I only wish for hope to prevail. I am trying my best to float and I am hoping I won’t drown in this new adventure. I am sure everything will be fine. I should probably stop reading thriller novels and horror stories about Japan. To be fair, they are based in Tokyo and are mostly about hostessing in their’ “red light” district.

Time flies so I know a year will pass me by. I’ve lived in America before and I know if I set my heart on something, I can and I will do it. I don’t like to upset my friends, because I know they are shocked. This isn’t something Miss Goody too shoes, quiet, reserved me would do. I don’t want to leave them, I’m not abandoning them. But I am continually trying to develop and I am trying to be a better person. So if you have a dream, I would pursue it, because you only have one life. Why not make the most of it, instead of living in fear. I don’t know what my future will be like, but I trust it will be okay and I have faith everything will work out in the end.

What if? If only life offered a total do-over!

Ever had the inclination to totally redo your life. To take different paths- do things differently. It’s a bit worrying that I have these sentiments at such a young age. It’s also a bit worrying that I am having a mid life crisis and I am not even 45! I’m 21, I’ve finished University just come back from my travels and just a little bit lost! Okay well not a little A LOT! I have no idea in which direction my life is going, no idea where to go and what to do. You could say my life is at a crossroads- do I get off my lazy butt and start trying to looks for jobs and apply or do I continue my lazy life waiting till something hits me over the head and draw me into some amazing new life with a great job and exciting opportunities.

Thinking about it now I had some uber cool opportunities at uni- the choice to do loads of work experience (while I did some there were perks to being a student!), the choice to study abroad- that’s a real disappointment! I would have liked to have done that but then I wouldn’t have discovered rock climbing and met so many cool people through the club- I wouldn’t have been appointed Treasurer of the club and I would have not had the opportunities I had at that time. Alternatively I could have been lying on a beach in Malta or trying to converse in French in Belgium!

Though the “what ifs” stretch a lot farther to school days- what if I had been more prepared and organised the two week work experience to France, what if I actually followed my interests and did what I wanted to do! What do I even actually want to do? I don’t know! I didn’t know then and I don’t know now! I am still as lost as I was four years ago when I decided what course I would be doing! What if I chose different universities, what if I could have done better? So many what ifs, so many thoughts of what my life could have been like. I would be a different person perhaps I am not sure- I’m quite stubborn and not very susceptible to change as a person though I do crave change in life.

I like it when I go somewhere different. I like travelling to different places as well as to the same countries- thats great too but I prefer discovering new things. I like trying different kinds of food. I think I would like change in a job- trying different companies or even trying my hand at different types of jobs. Because the truth is I don’t think I would be satisfied in just one job. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with life- because I crave change and I am sure it is pretty much the same for a lot of people out there. The world is no longer the same place where people would stay in their jobs for 10 or 20 years. Well that’s what I’ve read, so I am just going on what’s being said.

If I could I would take the chance to have a do-over! A repeat of my life it would be so good! But then again thinking about it logically completely redoing things in the past sounds a little boring because let’s face it I have past that point in life. I’ve past the point where I want to go back to studying in school- past the point of just doing work. I don’t think I am past the point of wanting to be a kid because being a child was amazing! I could do what I want- there was this kind of innocence- no responsibilities, no care in the world! Just fun and games, but then again I kind of like some responsibilities. I am a kid at heart and I had a wonderful childhood! I was in no hurry to grow up fast like a lot of kids do nowadays. Today, children are much more mature, much more aware. When I was a child I was not very aware of things- I was carefree and happy! I would love to go back to that innocence! The good old days, but then again my life is at that point where I am at the crossroads.

I’m stuck in limbo not really doing anything, not making a choice, not really living because I am just so bored! Is it possible to be bored with life so soon? Or perhaps I am just bored of the now- I need constant energy and drive to keep myself busy. To stop me from thinking because let’s be honest thinking is a dangerous thing. It can frustrate you and make you nit pick about everything! I think that’s just it! I’ve been thinking too much and it’s time to get busy again. Carry on with life but you can’t just pick up where you left off 4 months ago. Why? because everything is different now and I hate that. I hate the memories that torture me, I hate the life I’ve become where I wake up try to find a job, or go out to visit a friend and then go to bed late. I hate the person who I discovered I really am over my travels. I hate me and that is just not a good thing to discover. Meeting with my friends makes me realise how I never get a word in- I just listen- I don’t talk. But that’s ok I like it when others talk non-stop because it fills the silence. I can’t talk for Britain that’s for sure. But then it makes me think I don’t like who I am anymore.

Everyone is moving on with their life. They are moving forward, getting jobs, going back to university, learning, training, travelling and there is me falling behind unsure what to do. Unsure of myself and my life but craving something to give me that burst of confidence. I just need that hope. That is the problem when people you love die, they leave behind a whole series of unpredictable events which can affect you in the most subtle ways possible. Living in a house with negative and sad energy can definitely affect your mood and the shadow of their life left behind leaves you wanting to run and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes and you don’t feel half as lonely as they did. It’s a race against time to escape my thoughts, my fears and just jump! Like I did out the plane when I went skydiving- one of the best experiences of my life.

Well it’s time for a change! It’s time to make that choice now. Time to make the plunge and hope not to hit nothingness. A total do over is out of the question- no such thing! I can’t let myself keep regretting. It’s time to act, so must go try now! Wish me luck!